The strategic collaboration with relevant start-ups is key for the company to gain important insights in new ideas and developments that might initiate innovative ink developments to address upcoming trends in the ink and packaging industry. “Start-ups are home of trendsetting ideas and an exceptional inventive spirit,” explains Christoph Barniske, head of digital business at Siegwerk. “We as an established market player can support start-ups with our technical expertise to develop their ideas to product maturity and successfully launch them to the market.”
The future of packaging is about connecting product and consumer by adding new features to the packaging, causing the need for innovative ink solutions. Smart packaging, for which intelligent pigments or functional coatings are needed, or the internet of packaging, that uses integrated digital tags to interact with the consumer, are just two areas of new packaging approaches. At the same time, sustainable and eco-friendly packaging and manufacturing processes will continue gaining importance for brand owners, converters and of course consumers. Assessing ways of enhancing the ecological footprint of the company’s inks with no loss of performance is one of Siegwerk’s key R&D efforts.
Siegwerk has already started the first discussions with start-ups and plans to set up a systematic process for both, screening the start-up scene for potential partners and offering interested start-ups an easy platform to introduce themselves to the company and discuss the potential of a collaboration. Siegwerk has recently launched a microsite where potential start-ups can contact Siegwerk’s digital unit.
Siegwerk has made a strong commitment to digitalization this year in order to take account of inevitable changes in good time. The company has established a new digital business unit to understand how customer proximity and big data can help to improve its services to customers, to enhance the work of the sales teams and to initiate new infrastructure projects designed to generate worldwide synergies. “It’s all about making the company ready for the future and helping customers to achieve optimum performance by providing modern solutions and services,” says Herbert Forker, CEO of Siegwerk.
The Berlin-based digital unit is focusing on digital services that will improve the interaction between Siegwerk, its customers and brand owners. Therefore, the team determines the relevant pain thresholds that customers have and analyzes whether digital processes could help to improve and simplify the day-to-day work of customers and thus enhance the overall customer journey and increase efficiencies.